By: Kerry McNeil
Scranton, PA jamtronica duo Mike Nasser and Jeff Felkowski are releasing another EP under their Laser Sex moniker, and their work is fresher than ever before. With state of the art technology, the two create a fantastic live show that sounds bigger than the pair, blending layer upon layer of instruments and samples. Not only does the EP reveal their masterful production skills, but it also promises a live experience like no other with their new and exciting sounds.
Robot Quotes opens with “3/4 Box,” a track full of irresistibly catchy laser synths and twangy, harsh guitar riffs meshed with digitally manipulated effects. A sample at the beginning asks, “Do you think we could play it? Gosh, what I’d give to hear some new music,” and the sample is spliced up and repeated during the track. Nasser and Felkowski have undoubtedly created just that—new, fresh, and interesting music that is begging to be performed in a live setting.
“Scientifically Engineered Dog Stuff,” has a catchy, computerized melody overlaid by several digital beats and a soulful guitar melody, which clarifies why the duo prefer to call their music “funktronic.” Another vocal sample from a little kid, “I felt like I was flyyyyyying in the air, I felt like I was a wave!” is so well interwoven into the beat and only adds to the playful tone of the track. Echoing throughout the end of “Dog Stuff,” the vocal sample gives another dimension to Laser Sex’s style. Nasser and Felkowski are able to place samples into tracks seamlessly, making all of the different parts work in perfect harmony.
Using Tears for Fears’ “Head over Heels,” Laser Sex creates a more danceable version of the 80’s classic on “Tempus Fug It,”—which translates from Latin to “time flies,” and is the main sample they use. Ripping it into a chopped up mess of syllables and speeding up some of the beat, and relying heavily on the piano melody from “Head over Heels,” Nasser and Felkowski create their own original spin on a classic.
“Thai Chi Chai Tea,” begins with an elaborate beat produced with overlapping effects over which a bluesy guitar soars. A childlike sample warns “don’t make any noise when the music is playing.” Integrated with drastic piano, the track closes with echoing clips of the sample.
A slowed down vocal sample, again from what sounds like a kid, starts “Hobbnockle,” and informs the listener that the speaker used to go fishing in Vancouver, his home, with his dad, until a few years ago when they found fish going extinct. Nasser and Felkowski’s use of conversational vocal samples often sets the tone of the track, and it is no different on “Hobbnockle.” The track has a quick beat, with a slow, echoey synth background and more bluesy guitar riffs. More vocal samples from the kid during the middle of the track build stronger guitar melodies and a louder beat toward the end, with what sounds like shifting radio frequencies leading into “American Dreams.”
A music box melody begins “American Dreams,” innocently, quickly speeding up into Tom Morello’s signature guitar work on Rage Against the Machine’s “Know Your Enemy.” The music box melody seeps back in, and Zach de la Rocha barrels into the repeated refrain “all of which are American dreams!” A fast beat, with the powerful vocal sample and melody from the intro joined by additional synth melodies creates a truly original dance track meant for a live show.
Combining digital elements and more organic sounds like funky guitar riffs and ordinary conversation, Laser Sex produces innovative and original material. Crowds are bound to eat up Robot Quotes. Nasser and Falkowski challenge themselves to break musical boundaries and they certainly do so with their new EP.
The functionality you are trying to use is for members only. Would you like to sign in?